When I titled this “How to Bathe Otters” what I really meant was Shamu. I would get less wet. Actually, what I really meant was “How to Bathe Two Otters Kids∗ at the Same Time”.
∗ Ages 2-6
I like to bathe them together for two reasons.
1) Sometimes it saves time.
2) Sometimes it saves water.
3) They have fun splashing playing together.
4) Photos to use as blackmail when they’re teens.
Here’s how to do it:
1) Wash out the tub. They’re filthy enough; they don’t need the added dirt that’s already sitting on the bottom of the tub from when you took your shower. If your otters are slow to undress, clean the tub with a tub cleaner and rinse well. If you have kids like mine and undress as fast as a cat comes when you shake the treat bag then a good rinse with the hottest tap water possible will suffice. Invariably, they will be standing at the edge of the tub doing the “Running Man” waiting to get in.
2) Make sure they use the potty BEFORE getting in the tub. I suggest not plugging the tub until they are in it and seated just to make sure. If peeing in the pool grosses you out, peeing in the tub could give you the dry heaves.
3) Once your otters are in and the tub is plugged, you should try to get them to sit. Though you might as well talk to the wall, it will give you the “I told you so” option when one of them does fall.
4) Remove your shirt. You’ll have to change it anyway by the time they’re through, so you might as well take it off now and save yourself the hassle. Make sure it is 250-500 feet from the bathroom to ensure it remains dry.
5) Now that the tub is filling and your kiddies are jumping, rolling, splashing and generally having a grand ol’ time, it’s time to decide how much water they get. If it’s too shallow you won’t have enough to clean them. If it’s too deep you won’t have enough towels to clean the floor (and the walls, and windows and anything else they drench). I aim for their belly buttons or a bit less.
6) Now for the cleaning phase. I wish you luck. They will not lay or stand still so be prepared to hit a moving target. Of course, while you are cleaning one kid the other will be flooding the bathroom playing. I was watching a Formula One race one afternoon and watched the pit crew change all four tires and fuel up in less than four seconds. I try to wash faster than that. Hair, face, belly, back, arms, legs, feet, boy parts and bum. Boom! Done. Don’t worry if the tub water suddenly looks like this… they sure won’t. Repeat the cleansing cycle for the other kid.
7) Pull the plug. If you’re lucky, the kids haven’t washed down the drain Robert Munsch style. Or perhaps at this point, you would be luckier if they did?
8) Rinse your otters from head to toe with clean water. I use water as cold as the tap can go. They squeal and laugh and dance and have nowhere to go. They really do love “The Cold Water Game”. I trick them with one more cup of water that is warm but they think will be cold and they say “Ahhhh” then get out, get wrapped in a towel.
9) Snuggle the otters while they are wrapped in a towel. It will make the stress of bath time completely worth it. Eventually, like all good things, snuggling will come to an end. Don’t forget to lotion them head to toe. Then pajamas. Bed time.
10) Savor a beer or a glass of wine and any snacks you don’t want to share with your kids while enjoying the peace and quiet until roughly 6 am when your day starts all over.
*Only 3 more letters! Stay tuned!